Intern Introductions

Written by Plant With Purpose on February 5, 2013 in General

We are feeling beyond blessed and extremely fortunate to have these three helping out around the office this quarter. Please join us in welcoming our latest batch of interns! Read on to hear their hearts and why they’re perfect fits for Plant With Purpose.    


from left to right…

Introducing Lily Howard
Hi, everyone! My name is Lily, and I am so happy to be one of the grant writing interns working with Plant With Purpose this spring!

I distinctly remember the first day of my 7th-grade writing class, in which I was prompted to think about a Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Although, I didn’t fully realize the truth in these words until high school when I participated on a number of mission trips to places including Mexico and Malawi. Such heart-wrenching, eye-opening experiences really sparked my interest in wanting to help those living in poverty internationally, as I began to understand that lasting change is created truly when we help to empower our brothers and sisters to help themselves.

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara as part of the class of 2011 as a global studies major, with an emphasis in both Latin America and environmental studies. I believe that between my research and studies at UCSB, and the further traveling that I have done in parts of South America and Southeast Asia, God has “purposefully planted” (no pun intended!) in me a passion to do something to help. In particular, it’s a passion to help those who face extreme poverty, injustice, and environmental degradation, and I am driven to make a difference through my work.

I learned about Plant With Purpose at the Flood Church and immediately felt called to the mission. The vital link that Plant With Purpose has recognized between poverty and the environment, and the thousands of lives that have been transformed in the name of God, through Plant With Purpose, inspired me to apply for the next position available! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be one of the grant writing interns this spring, and I am incredibly excited to give back all that I can through Plant With Purpose.

Other than that, my big passion in life is surfing! Along with the ocean … and traveling the world … and enjoying God’s beautiful natural creation in every adventurous way possible. Always up for an adrenaline rush. I love spending time with my amazing friends and family, and as for the rest of my everyday activities, I love running, hiking, swimming, snowboarding, yoga, art, inspiring books, music, and good food!

Introducing Annie Battles
What’s a recent grad to do? As I find myself in the funny floating time between college and “real life,” I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Plant With Purpose. I’ll be working as the development department intern, which means assisting Becky and Jimmy of the development team with any communications work, creative research, event planning, and outreach they throw my way!

I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, but I spent the last three and a half years at Gordon College near Boston. I left California for a change of pace (and for the brick buildings back East), and now I return to the Golden State with an appreciation for New England and a deep love for the Gordon community. Over the past few years, I studied journalism in Italy, Spanish in Chile, and English literature and creative writing at Gordon. Now in San Diego, I couldn’t be happier to call the sunniest city around home.

Studying writing taught me about the importance of stories, language, and efficacious communication; studying at a Christian liberal arts college made God’s present kingdom, sustainable environmental care, and poverty alleviation all the more tangible. Needless to say, the development internship is an exciting blend of this study and experience! And with an incredible team like the Plant With Purpose staff, there’s nowhere else I’d rather work.

I’m a fan of good conversation, good coffee, running, reading, playing with cameras, writing, and hiking. Over the next few months you’ll find me exploring San Diego’s many farmers’ markets, breakfast cafes, and running routes (when I’m not at the PWP office, of course). Thanks for reading! Email me at to get in touch.

Introducing Chris Cunnigham 
Hello! My name is Chris Cunningham, and I am one of the new grant writing interns at Plant With Purpose. I consider myself extremely blessed to have the opportunity to partner with Plant With Purpose at this point in my life, as a newlywed and a new master’s degree student. Let me tell you a little about my story and how I came to be writing this introductory post about myself.

I am a California native, and spent most of my life about two hours north of San Diego in a small town called Temple City, which is not far from Pasadena. It wasn’t until college that I moved to San Diego, in the summer of 2008, to get my undergraduate degree in international relations/Chinese studies. This was also around the same time that I first learned about Plant With Purpose, after visiting their table at the Flood Church Christmas Shoppe.

I graduated from the University of California, San Diego in June 2010, and less than three months later I found myself on a plane to Huzhou, China, where I spent a year teaching English to K-12th grade students. This was a real eye opener for me and an experience that oddly enough helped ground my faith after several years of wrestling with God.

After a year abroad, I returned home and found myself at another Flood Christmas Shoppe, where I purchased Scott’s book Tending to Eden. I didn’t know it, but this was exactly what I needed at the time because while I considered myself a strong environmentalist, I was still very new in my faith and unaware of Creation Care or stewardship as a Christian concept. The book immediately grabbed me and opened my eyes to a whole new world that blended my passion for Christ and my passion for the environment.

To make a long story short, over the next year and a half I married my loving wife Anna Bradley, started a master’s program in environmental science, and worked at a failing environmental company. It has been a year of ups and downs, but I am extremely excited to start this new year (2013) on a high note with Plant With Purpose and look forward to the next few months.

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